Stack of Ice Cubes. Keep Cool.

Keep Cool. Play on the Rocks.

Children’s eyes light up when they see something common used in a new way. Ice offers a fun way for kids to keep cool. Plus, children learn a lot when they find new uses for everyday items. Here are a few ideas to keep cool with ice.

Keep Cool with an Ice Bath

Fill various plastic containers (yogurt cups, non-dairy whip cream tubs, and ice cube trays) with water add a few drops of food coloring and freeze.
Fill the bathtub with warm water and let your child get in. (A wading pool in the summer works well too.)
Put the ice forms in the bathtub and let her play with them as they dissolve. Hold a few in the freezer because your child will ask for more.

Ice Melt

Place a block of ice in a pan. (Use two or more cups of water.)
Give your child a salt shaker or a dish of rock salt.
Let her shake or spoon the salt on the ice. Watch the patterns that form in the melting ice.
NOTE: This needs to be a supervised activity to make sure that salt water does not splash or get rubbed in your child’s eye.

Ice Paint

Mix a small amount water-based paint (like poster or tempera paints) with water to form a unified, watery mix. Make a small amount of several different colors.
Fill one or two ice cube trays with the various colors of the diluted paint.
Provide several sheets of large paper for your child to “paint” with the ice cube.
Keep a sponge handy and expect messy, paper-falling-apart fun.

These suggestions are just old-fashioned fun. When summer heat and boredom rise, keep cool with fun that fosters creativity and brings you and your child closer together. Even if you haven’t thought ahead to freeze blocks of ice or add color, you can always just dump an ice tray in to the tub or a sink full of water.